Sarah Palin’s Search For Greater Ignorance

The Time 100 features brief essays by various people on the 100 people who most affect our world. Sarah Palin, who is best known for her ignorance of  both the modern world and history, has a choice of someone who she sees teaching about history and government. She picked someone who would further reduce her ability to understand the real world. Palin  wrote about Glenn Beck:

Who’d have thought a history buff with a quirky sense of humor and a chalkboard could make for such riveting television? Glenn’s like the high school government teacher so many wish they’d had, charting and connecting ideas with chalk-dusted fingers — kicking it old school — instead of becoming just another talking-heads show host. Self-taught, he’s become America’s professor of common sense, sharing earnestly sought knowledge with an audience hungry for truth. Glenn, 46, tackles topics other news shows would regard as arcane. Consider his desire to teach Americans about the history of the progressive movement: he’s doing to progressive what Ronald Reagan did to liberal — explaining that it’s a damaged brand.

Beck is “self-taught,” which really means that he makes up most of what he says. That’s why Media Matters named him Misinformer of the Year. There is little truth in Beck’s broadcasts. He tackles topics not discussed by other news shows not because they are “arcane” but because real news shows deal in facts, not paranoid fantasies as Beck does. Palin may see Beck as “explaining” that the progressive movements a damaged brand, but his explanations are rather meaningless considering that pretty much everything Beck says about progressive beliefs has little to do with the actual progressive movement. Beck misquotes and distorts the words of his targets, and his brainless followers, who are incapable of actual fact checking, think he has demolished them by using their own words against them.

Sarah Palin, who knows so little about the world, thinks she can learn from a man who makes it all up for the money. Beck has even described himself as “a rodeo clown” and admitted, “If you take what I say as gospel, you’re an idiot.” In Sarah Palin’s case, this is certainly true.

EPA Staffers Forced To Ignore Science

A government review has found that the Bush administration forced EPA employees to ignore scientific findings in order to both water down concerns about climate change and to protect business. Sheila Kaplan of Politics Daily reports:

The Committee on Science Integration for Decision Making is still working on its investigation, but has quietly posted draft summaries on the agency’s website of 73 interviews with 450 EPA employees — an unusual bottom-up examination that could bring sweeping changes to the 40-year-old federal agency. Some staffers traced the problems in the agency to the Bush administration, while others said the obstacles are longstanding and continue to this day…

The review of the EPA followed accusations by a former agency official that President George W. Bush had pressured agency employees to water down concerns of global climate change, a Government Accountability Office report criticizing the agency’s toxic chemical review process, and stern recommendations by the National Research Council, a division of the National Academy of Sciences.